The #Ohio State Buckeyes traveled to Iowa City Saturday afternoon to take on the 5-3 #Iowa Hawkeyes. The sixth-ranked team in the country had a comeback for the ages against Penn State last week and had taken control of their destiny in regards to a #college football playoff birth. The Hawkeyes rarely find themselves among the elite teams in the Big Ten, but Kinnick Stadium is never an easy place to play. And Ohio State found that out right away. After playing like a potential Heisman trophy winner all season, Buckeye quarterback JT Barrett threw an interception on the opening possession that got returned for a pick-six touchdown.

But the Ohio State offense regrouped the following series and drove the ball 80 yards to tie the score 7-7 on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Barrett to Terry McLaurin.

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The Hawkeyes and Buckeyes traded field goals before Iowa kicked their offense into gear. Quarterback Nathan Stanley took the Hawkeyes on an 80-yard drive of their own, tossing a 10-yard touchdown strike to TJ Hockenson. And then just like they'd done all game, the Buckeyes answered with a 44-yard touchdown pass from Barrett to Johnnie Dixon.

After the teams exchanged punts, Iowa began to take apart the Ohio State defense, moving 89 yards down-the-field on just seven plays. The series culminated in a 25-yard Noah Fant touchdown reception from Stanley, putting Iowa up 24-17. Rather than respond with another score, Barrett threw his second interception of game. And needing just 22 yards to pay dirt, Stanley passed for his third touchdown in the first half, extending the lead to 31-17

Ohio State didn't have another comeback in them

The scoring barrage for both teams slowed down to start the second half.

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But Iowa got on the board after a trick play put them near the goal-line. The usually conservative Hawkeyes setup in a funky formation in field goal range on fourth down. Iowa punter Colten Rastetter lined up at quarterback, and after the snap, the center snuck out for a pass over the middle, caught a wobbling football, and stumbled down to the 3-yard line.

Stanley found Hockenson on the next play to put the Hawkeyes up 38-17.

As time ran down in the third quarter, the Ohio State offense continued to sputter out. Following another Buckeye punt, Iowa's James Butler scampered down the sideline for 53-yard run. Drake Kulick caught Stanley's fifth touchdown pass two plays later to put the Hawkeyes up 45-17. Iowa picked Barrett off for the third time on Ohio state's next possession and added to their lead with a field goal. Both teams scored late to make the final score 55-24. The 55 points were the most that Iowa has ever scored against Ohio State.

The Buckeyes' loss doesn't just have ramifications for their playoff chances, but for the Big Ten's (Penn State also lost on Saturday).

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There's still some football left to play, but hope is dwindling, and Wisconsin may be the Big Ten's best chance to still grab one of the four playoff spots. Iowa travels to Madison, WI, next week.

Game stat leaders

Iowa - passing

  • Nathan Stanley - 20-31 - 226 yards - five TDs

Iowa - rushing

  • Akrum Wadley - 20 carries - 118 yards
  • James Butler - 10 carries - 74 yards

Iowa - receiving

  • T.J. Hockenson - five receptions - 71 yards - two TDs
  • Noah Fant - four receptions - 54 yards - two TDs

Ohio State - passing

  • J.T. Barrett - 18/34 - 208 yards - three TDs - four INTs

Ohio State - rushing

  • J.T. Barrett - 14 carries - 63 yards
  • J.K. Dobbins - six carries - 51 yards

Ohio State - receiving

  • Johnnie Dixon - four receptions - 81 yards - two TDs
  • KJ Hill - three receptions - 41 yards